Combustible Celluloid
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With: Max Thieriot, John Magaro, Denzel Whitaker, Zena Grey, Nick Lashaway, Paulina Olszynski, Jeremy Chu, Emily Meade, Ra�l Esparza, Jessica Hecht, Frank Grillo, Danai Gurira, Harris Yulin, Shareeka Epps, Elena Hurst
Written by: Wes Craven
Directed by: Wes Craven
MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence, and pervasive language including sexual references
Running Time: 107
Date: 10/07/2010

My Soul to Take (2010)

3 Stars (out of 4)

'Soul' Positions

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

This is Wes Craven's first job of solo writing and directing since New Nightmare (1994), and he proves that though he may not be the most gifted scribe in the world, he's a highly skilled director, with a unique visual style and an aptitude for planting potential scares in all corners of the frame.

In the small town of Riverton, a killer ("The Riverton Ripper") went on a rampage and slashed up several victims with a hunting knife. The very moment he died in an ambulance crash, seven children were simultaneously born in a nearby hospital. Sixteen years later, on the anniversary of that day, the teens still talk about the killer, and about the possibility that he may return from the dead to kill again. Lo and behold, more killings start up, and this time the seven teens appear to be the targets (as well as anyone else who gets in the way). A teen nicknamed "Bug" (Max Thieriot) seems to be at the center of all this. He begins hearing the voices and seeing images all of the souls around him. When Bug learns a terrible secret about his childhood, he discovers that he's a lot closer to the killings that he ever expected.

Craven's story of a possibly supernatural serial killer doesn't always make sense; sometimes the souls of living people speak through the teen hero, Bug, as opposed to dead ones. And the connection between souls and killings is never quite clear. On the plus side, almost no other director alive can instill such a sense of gleeful dread in the autumn woods, or in an ordinary house. Every wall, corner, and doorway is a potential hiding place and a potential source of danger. His timing and use of three-dimensional space is practically unequalled. Better still, his sheer pleasure comes through in every frame; this is a man that loves filmmaking, rather than simply cranking out another teen horror film for the marketplace. The silliness of the plot can be forgiven in the presence of an old horror master.

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